'Telling Images of China' is an exhibition of early modern and modern paintings from one of the world's finest collections of Chinese art - the Shanghai Museum. The 38 figural works include scrolls and albums by artists - both pre-eminent and obscure - active in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, and the twentieth century. These narrative or 'story paintings', an emerging topic in Asian art history, retell or illustrate some kind of tale. The sources range across folk and religious lore, oral and official history, and poetry and literature. This book presents a series of interpretive essays and descriptions of these paintings, accompanied by full colour illustrations and many details. The main themes of the exhibition are introduced under the headings: 'Stories of Crossings: Exiles, Loyalists, Rustics'; 'Religious Lore and Legends of the Supernatural'; and, 'Romances and Tales of Talent and Beauty'.
Shane McCausland is Head of Collections and also Curator of the East Asian Collections at the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin. Mr Ling Lizhong is Associate Professor in the Department of Painting and Calligraphy at the Shanghai Museum.